NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Rivalry matches are always intense and that held true in Saturday’s tennis version of the “Battle of the Boulevard”.
In the end, Lipscomb was able to top rival Belmont 4-3 Saturday night at Richland Country Club.
The match didn’t start in the Bisons favor as they lost the doubles point with Belmont taking the matches at the one and two spots, 6-1 and 6-4.
However, the momentum swung in the Bisons’ favor during singles play. Lipscomb came back to take four singles matches with John Tougher clinching the match from the six spot.
“You know what, this is what it’s all about,” head coach Mario Hernandez said. “It was a great match. It was a classic. It was one of those matches that I’ll remember for a long time.”
Alejandro Manzanares got things going from the second spot, in what would be the only match to not go to three sets. Manzanares picked up the first win as he topped Robin Demasse 7-5, 7-5.
Rob Mitchell continued his good form from the top spot in a three setter. After Cedric Dujacquier took the first set 6-4, Mitchell rallied to take the match 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.
Things went similarly for Thais Minet in the fourth spot as he dropped the first set to Zak Khan 6-0. Minet recovered, however, to take the match 0-6, 6-3, 6-2.
Philippe Courteau was scratched from singles play, causing John Tougher to be called into action. Tougher stepped up in a big way for the Bisons. Tougher jumped out to take the first set 6-4 over Bruno Russo. Bruno answered by taking the second set 6-1. With things tied at a set apiece, Tougher fought to take the match and clinch the win for the Bisons 6-4, 6-1, 6-4.
With the Courteau scratch, four Bisons had to move up to a new seed. Hernandez was encouraged by the way his guys stepped up to compete.
“We wanted to address that we need to have depth at the beginning of the fall season,” Hernandez said. “As a team, we need to be able to plug guys in. We have guys that can compete. It’s great to see as coaches.”
The Bisons are no strangers to tough matches as they have already seen many singles matches go to three sets. Those tough matches played a major role in the Bisons pulling out these wins.
“You see the payoff from playing all of the close matches,” Hernandez said. “Belmont brought it today. I’ve got to give all the credit to the world to our guys. They fought their hearts out.”
Lipscomb 4 – Belmont 3
- Cedric Dujacquier/Robin Demasse (BU) def. Rob Mitchell/Philippe Courteau (LIP) 6-1
- Stephen Goldman/Zak Khan (BU) def. Daniel Cardenas/Alejandro Manzanares (LIP) 6-4
- John Tougher/Thais Minet (LIP) vs. Bruno Russo/Caio Niel (BU) 4-5, DNF
- Rob Mitchell (LIP) def. Cedric Dujacquier (BU) 4-6, 6-4, 6-3
- Alejandro Manzanares (LIP) def. Robin Demasse (BU) 7-5, 7-5
- Adam Rudowski (BU) def. Daniel Cardenas (LIP) 6-4, 4-6, 6-4
- Thais Minet (LIP) def. Zak Khan (BU) 0-6, 6-3, 6-2
- Stephen Goldman (BU) def. Kauai Linardi (LIP) 6-3, 4-6, 6-4
- John Tougher (LIP) def. Bruno Russo (BU) 6-4, 1-6, 6-4